Nofotane women products break into Australian market

Women who are part of the Nofotane Group under the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) have secured an opportunity to market their products in Australia.

This is a result of a Susu and Meli (milk and honey) project – which focuses on the empowerment of women through economic development – such as acquiring new techniques in designing taught by Nicole Penman earlier this year. A total of 20 Nofotane women participated in the project back then. 

Ms. Penman hopes to take the incredible talent of women in the Pacific, such as those who make Nofotane products, to the international community with the aim of building an ethical online marketplace.

"This market place will be a way where the artisans themselves are receiving a fair price, a percentage of proceeds return to community projects. It is good for the wider community to enjoy wonderful art of and culture that is produced," she said.

It is through the Mechta Van Boogert Award, which allowed Ms. Penman to work with 20 Nofotane Star Earners to begin an ethical online marketplace, sourcing artisan goods from the Pacific and selling them as on-trend accessories to women primarily in Australia.

An inquiry from a children’s wear label in Australia, Ina Swim, for an order of 200 very specific hats, saw the Nofotane weaver artisans discuss diameters and circumference, fumigation and shipping costs, in preparation for the opening sale in the Australian market.

The transformation in the Nofotane women has seen them become more confident, and empowered and they are involved in decision making for their own benefit – sustaining their self-employment.

SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang expressed her sincere gratitude to Nicole for her assistance in this venture.

"I thank Nicole for reaching out to support the potential of our Nofotane women.

"It has enabled them to open new market opportunities in Australia and this will assist in improving the Nofotane women’s access to sustainable employment," said Siliniu.

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